Comic book movies are driven by conflict, which perhaps explains why we love them so much. Life – in basic terms – is simpler in the cinematic world of the comic book character. Sure, there may be some deep and meaningful psycho-drama happening, possibly some complex romantic tension, and often some intense familial dysfunction – but we know that, at some point, two opposing forces will reach a resolution of one kind or another, through the inevitable comic book movie showdown.
Sometimes, it’s as clear-cut as a good old-fashioned bout of ‘good guy versus bad guy’ fisticuffs – and, obviously, that’s very satisfying. Sometimes, the scenario is rendered more in shades of grey than in stark contrast – with hero pitted against hero, or villain pitted against villain – and that’s really quite fascinating. Occasionally, the conflict is internal – and that’s always brilliant. The very best comic book movie showdowns come in all shapes and sizes – verbal, physical, violent, non-violent – but they all serve the same purpose. It is the simplification of an issue – maybe one is triumphant over another, or opposing sides reach an agreement. Either way, it provides a sense of clarification and conclusion that is rarely found in life.
We’ve watched the dramatic tension increase. The music begins to build. Everything that has gone before has led these characters to this time and place – and their simmering pot of issues is about to boil over.
So, settle in and get ready to relive 11 epic comic book movie showdowns.